This genus includes more than two hundred species of rosette-forming perennials found growing in desert and scrubby areas to mountainous regions in their native habitats. They are quintessential desert plants for the exotic garden, having a very architectural feel and adding dramatic impact whether bedded out for the summer months, or permanently planted out in the garden. Many are amazingly tough plants that can take low temperatures well if grown in exceedingly free-draining gritty soils and kept dry in winter; their biggest problem is winter wet. They are monocarpic, meaning that the main plant dies after flowering, leaving new side shoots to grow on.
Intrepid gardeners in the British Isles have been experimenting with their hardiness, with good success. They are commonly seen in gardens along the south coast of England, especially into Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, where some astounding specimens can be seen.
Agave americana (Century Plant) is an evergreen perennial native to north eastern Mexico, hence is ideally suited to hot sun-baked areas of your garden. It is a very good plant to grow in coastal regions as it is very wind tolerant. Although it will take lows of down to around -8C, this is only if planted on exceedingly well drained soil and is protected from winter rain, otherwise it can be grown as a container plants and brought into a dry location for the winter months.
Excellent for very sandy, gravely arid areas
Latin name: Agave americana
Common name: Century Plant
Ease of growing: Moderate
Position: Prefers full sun.
Soil Condition: Prefers exceedingly well drained gravely soil